Vietnam was a wondrous place with many dishes to try and places to explore. I regret not eating more when I explored Hanoi, Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh (or Saigon) and Ha Long Bay on my 10 day trip.
One of my now favourite dishes that will forever be on my food list is Banh Xeo, a yellow crispy pancake with chicken, vegetables and prawns inside. You place the pancake on rice paper and can freely select some herbs and leaves to put inside then wrap it together.
But that’s not one of the dishes that I want to introduce to you today!
Vietnam for me had a wide selection of dishes that were seasoned more than spicy. The chillies on the side that are usually left for the customer to add to their dish brought a burst of flavour to all my meals. There’s a few that I enjoyed eating in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh that I am going to recommend to you all to try. It’s worth having if you ever have the time to go visit Vietnam. I have yet try the legendary Bún bò Huế (spicy beef soup with vermicelli noodles) but while I was out there, I substitued to the following dishes below:
You have to realise that there is always red chillies with a lot of noodles or soup dishes when I ate at Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. It’s optional to put chillies in the dish but I would recommend so!
Phở Bò (Beef noodles with soup)
One of the first bowls of goodness I had in Hanoi was the Phở Bò. Upon me and my friend’s first few days in Hanoi, we stopped at a shop in the Old Quarter leading away from the main area called My Phở. They were serving authentic noodles dishes with a selection that came with soup as well as a selection of rolls like Chả Giò. Phở Bò consisted of mainly beef, rice noodles, spring onions and other herbs. Even though it was standard Phở but with beef, it exceeded my expectations. What I loved about this dish was that the beef was succulent and with the herbs and added chilli, the spice was just right, not spicy enough but warms your throat. I hope to try this aain but in the meantime, I only eat Phở made by my dear friend, I prefer Phở Bò just a little more.
Miến gà (Chicken noodle soup)
Next is one of my new favourite Vietnamese dishes that I had on my last night in Hanoi Old Quarter. To put it simply, Miến gà is a chicken noodle soup but there’s more flavour added to it than just the standard soup you get. Don’t mistake it for Phở because Miến gà has glass noodles and I believe there’s a few ingrediets that make the broth taste different.
Mì Xào Tam Sắc (Vegetable Fried Noodles)
Now the following two were actually at the hotel that I stayed at during my time in Ho Chi Minh. Please excuse the translation I was presented with from the hotel but it was listed as Mi Xao Tam Sac (Vegetable Fried Noodles) and Mi Xao Bo (Beef Fried Noodle). To be honest Mì Xào Tam Sắc is literally a combination of carrots, onions and leeks mixed with fried noodles and black pepper putting on it.
Mì Xào Bò (Beef Fried Noodles)
Mì Xào Bò was a little better not just because of the beef but it also looked more presentable when ordered. Thankfully, both have a sauce dish with chillies in soy sauce. I felt like without that ,the seasoning wasn’t enough to sustain a spicy thrill down my throat. I hope in the near future, I can revisit with a Vietnamese friend to get a more authentic viewpoint on both travelling and the range of food. That’s what I did when I went to Nepal and Hong Kong.
Out of the four, I think Miến gà took me by surprise and it is the best of them all. When I try Bún bò Huế , I’m sure I’ll be more impressed with it. If I had to rank them all, it would be from best to worst: